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  • 30 Days to Better Guitar Playing

  • 30 Days to Better Guitar Playing

  • jimmy page guitar

    3 Essential Jimmy Page Blues Licks

    by Simon James

    Jimmy Page, as well as being one my favourite guitarists is, without doubt, one of the most influential and well known guitarists ever to emerge. Page made solos that are unique and instantly recognizable due to a combination of his sound and trademark delivery. As well as creating those unmistakeable Led Zeppelin riffs he took time to carefully create all of his solos incorporating signature techniques such as full tone bends, lightning fast descending and ascending pentatonic runs and aggressive pull offs using the open strings.

    In this study we will look at 3 Jimmy Page solo licks that incorporate the three techniques mentioned above that are essential learning for any Blues guitarist and fan of Led Zeppelin to know.

    Lick 1: Whole Lotta Love

    One of the most iconic Led Zep riffs, Whole Lotta Love contains a well structured breakdown section complete with theramin and stomping call and response between Page and the rhythm section.

    The lick contains some typical Blue phrasing, such as the 3 string Arpeggio and the rapid pull offs over a descending E Minor Blues Scale at the start. The fast pull offs continue over the open strings and are characteristic of the aggressive soloing technique of Page in the tradition of other Blues masters Albert Collins and Freddie King.

    Notice the consistent use of full tone bends (marked as the note reached by the bend with a starting ghost note in brackets) throughout the remainder of this lick. Work on these slowly and practice comparing the fretted note to the bended note to ensure that you tune your string bends well.

    jimmy page whole lotta love blues solo lick  

    Lick 2: Since Ive Been Loving You

    The second lick in this study is the intro to the Slow Blues Deluxe from the album Led Zeppelin III. Since Ive Been Loving You is based around a C minor Blues featuring a delicately crafted solo that alternates between slow and fast licks around a 14 bar form that is common in Blues played in 12/8 time.

    Particular attention must be paid in this solo to the Blues Phrasing used by Page. I have marked in some of the dynamics and accented notes to guide you but to really nail this solo listen closely to the album recording and try and pick up on the nuances of the playing of Page exhibited in this example. This tune is notoriously hard to record (I have tried it with bands myself) as it is very difficult to get a consistent feel. The only way to make the licks and the gradual rising crescendo to the signature lick in bars 10 and 11 convincing is to really work on controlling the accents with your picking hand, using the volume controls to master the dynamics and to ensure that your pull offs, hammer ons and slides are strong and confident.

    jimmy page since i've been loving you blues solo lick  

    Lick 3: Heartbreaker

    The final lick comes from the start of the free solo section in the middle of Heartbreaker from the album Led Zeppelin II. Again this is another ambitious example of a well crafted Jimmy Page solo, complete with a precisely constructed instrumental section. In this lick we see a combination of fast open string pull offs and signature full tone bends. Work hard to make the pull offs accurate and the bends in tune on this one and play to the metronome so that you can gradually push the speed of the licks up. These fast rhythmic patterns are another common feature of the phrasing of Jimmy Page and paved the way for the fast heavy metal shredding to following in the years after Led Zeppelin.

    jimmy page heartbreaker blues solo lick  

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      In the 30 Days to Better Blues Guitar eBook you will find a month long practice routine with a lesson a day on a topic covering some of the basics and most fundamental principles of Blues Guitar playing. Each short lesson will improve your knowledge of soloing, licks, scales, arpeggios, chords, harmony, vibrato, accents, phrasing, ear training and sight reading.

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